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Is there really a 6k yearly pension for senior citizens? Here are some clarifications

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A screenshot of an announcement made by the Facebook page “President Rodrigo Duterte” has been circulating on the social networking site since June last year, but it is still actively receiving comments up to now. The announcement reminded everyone that indigent senior citizens who are 60 years old and above can claim their P6,000 yearly pension from their municipal or city hall.

Pension for Senior Citizens

We looked for the Facebook post made by the page itself and found a longer article accompanying the reminder.

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The comments section on the screenshot posted a certain Nida Enguerra blew up with questions for more clarifications as to how they, or their parents, can get access to the said P6,000 pension, and with complaints about how their old parents never even got to enjoy the said pension from the government.

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However, there were also commenters who tried to explain the issue, saying that the said P6,000 funds are only intended for the indigents.

Pension for Senior Citizens

First, let’s learn about the history of this law that seeks to help the elderly Filipinos.

Republic Act No. 7432 (An Act to Maximize the Contribution of Senior Citizens to Nation Building, Grant Benefits and Special Privileges) was approved by the late President Corazon Aquino on April 23, 1992.

It was then amended by RA No. 9257, known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003, which was signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 26, 2004.

This was further amended in 2010 by RA No. 9994, known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010,” which was once again signed by former President Arroyo on February 15, 2010.

This law said this about Social Pension under Section 5.

“Indigent senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to Five hundred pesos (Php500.00) to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of senior citizens, subject to a review every two (2) years by Congress, in consultation with the DSWD.”

Pension for Senior Citizens

But due to limited financial resources, only those who were 80-year-olds and above were enlisted to receive the social pension. This was later lowered to 77 and to 65 years old in February 2015.

In March 2016, Senator Ralph Recto announced that almost half a million more indigent Filipino senior citizens will receive their P500 monthly social pension effective that same year after the Congress increased their budget by P3 billion.

Recto even described the qualifications of the recipients of the P500 monthly stipend. Only senior citizens who are sickly, frail, or have disabilities; those who are not recipients of a pension from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Social Security System (SSS), or a veteran’s pension; and those who do have a permanent source of income are allowed to receive this social pension. Seniors who want to apply for this program must be able to prove that they have all these qualifications to get their social pension.

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“By increasing the budget for this program, all indigent seniors 60 years old and above must be covered by the proposed allocation. The policy is no senior left behind,” Recto was quoted by The Manila Standard.

To clarify things, not all Filipino senior citizens who are 60 years old and above can receive the P500 monthly (P6,000 yearly) social pension because it is only intended to help out the indigents, the qualifications of whom were defined by Recto above. It’s not like what some of the commenters thought – that all seniors are entitled to getting P500 per month.

However, there was indeed an issue about indigent seniors not being able to enjoy this privilege, as what was once claimed by the camp of former Vice President Jejomar Binay, about how almost 55,500 seniors were unable to get their pensions in 2014.

Sources: (doh.gov.ph, lawphil.net, gov.ph, thestandard.com.ph)

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Busted: Walang kasalanan ang Tulfo brothers ayon sa imbestigasyon? It’s a misleading headline!

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An article has claimed that an investigation has found the Tulfo brothers to be not guilty. It says, “Lumabas Sa Imbestigasyon Na Walang Kasalanan Ang Tulfo Brothers,” as published by the website phworkit.top.

The story was even shared by Facebook pages “Ferdinand Emmanual Edralin Marcos” and “Rody Duterte MEDIA.”

However, the article merely contained a 10-minute YouTube video, which was a mix several video clips of different reports, some parts of which touched on the issues involving the P60 million tourism ads that aired on the PTV program of Teo’s brothers, the Tulfos.

One of the video clips showed that the CNN Philippines reported on why nepotism is considered corruption and abused of authority in the case of now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda and how her husband, Roberto Teo, served as the board member of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). But Roberto was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III and has tendered his resignation from TIEZA effective June 30, 2018.

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Another video clip showing a CNN Philippines report of a Malacañang press briefing, where a reporter asked Presidential Spokesperon Harry Roque if Communications Secretary Martin Andanar would be among those investigated in the controversial placement of P60 million worth of tourism ads on the program of the Tulfos, who are Teo’s brothers, leading people to raise the issue of conflict of interest. As the PCOO chief, he also supervises the state-run PTV-4, where the Tulfos’ programs are a blocktimer.

Asked by yet another reporter what President Rodrigo Duterte’s comment was on the issue with the DOT and the Tulfos, Roque said that he did not know then because he had not talked to the President for a while and the investigation conducted by the Office of the President was ongoing then.

The headline used in the video is misleading. It meant to make people think that the Tulfo brothers have been cleared from the issue involving them with the controversial P60-million tourism ad deal.

However, reports showed that even after Teo resigned from her post on May 7, the Ombudsman will still continue with the probe into the scandal. The body requested from the Commission on Audit (COA) a copy of its DOT report involving the controversial P60-million worth of payments for ads aired on PTV on May 8. The investigation is still ongoing, which meant that they it has not yet cleared the Tulfos.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea is also said to be investigating the scandal to determine the officials at fault at the DOT, People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI), and the PCOO.

Ramon Tulfo, an Inquirer columnist, came out in the defense of his sister Teo and blamed  his younger brother Ben Tulfo for the controversy.

Party-list group Akbayan, however, said it was not enough for Teo to step down from her post. They wanted her to be prosecuted.

“The simple firing or resignation of corrupt officials will not put a stop to corruption in the government if this is not followed by swift prosecution and conviction,” the group said in a statement.

Akbayan also challenged President Duterte to file cases against Ben and Erwin Tulfo over the controversial ad transaction. Ben owns Bitag Media, which produced the PTV show “Kilos Pronto,” the program where the DOT ads were aired. His brother, Erwin, co-hosts the show with him.

Sources: ( newsinfo.inquirer.ne , thestandard.com.ph , cnnphilippines.com , rappler.com , news.abs-cbn.com , businessmirror.com.ph )

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Busted: Legarda sinumbatan si Robredo na mag-resign bago pa lumabas ang resulta na panalo si Marcos? Misleading headline!

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Senator Loren Legarda allegedly confronted Vice President Leni Robredo and asked her to resign before the results would show former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as the winner.

The video was posted by blog dailydu30.info on May 15, 2018. The vice presidential vote recount is still ongoing, so the headline must have been referring to the result of the recount. It also made it seem as though Legarda is telling Robredo that she is certain that Marcos would emerge as the winner in the recount.

The YouTube video is 20-minute long and Legarda’s face was immediately shown at the beginning of the video. However, if you finish watching it, you’d know immediately that the video was not taken recently. In fact, it showed a portion of the budget hearing for 2017 for the Office of the Vice President. Further research showed that the hearing was conducted in front of the Senate panel on August 22, 2017 and it lasted less than an hour before it was approved. Robredo herself attended the budget hearing to present an overview of the OVP’s plans for 2018.

Legarda served as the Senate panel’s chair.

During the hearing, Robredo reported how the OVP spent its funds, mainly for poverty alleviation.

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The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that following the presentation on the fund allocation of the OVP, Legarda asked Robredo to send them a yearlong report on the needs of the sectors and areas that the OVP has reached while promising to help out on fulfilling those needs.

So unlike what the headline claimed, Legarda did not tell Robredo to resign from her VP post to make way for Marcos’ imminent victory. The headline is misleading and is merely playing with people’s emotions and gullibility.

However, Facebook page “Sara Duterte Worldwide Supporters” still shared it without verifying the headline’s claims.

There have been several fake stories involving Marcos and Robredo and the VP vote recount that we have busted. We debunked a misleading headline claiming that Marcos has already won, that Marcos won by 1,786 votes over Robredo, that Robredo would perform her tasks as VP until Marcos takes over, and that Marcos will replace Robredo.

Sources: ( philstar.comnewsinfo.inquirer.net )

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Busted: Hollywood actor laughed at Robredo for copying his Independence Day movie speech? It’s fake news!

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After Vice President Leni Robredo’s recent “Free the Courts” speech at UP Diliman on May 7, articles abound about how a Hollywood actor laughed at her for copying his speech in a movie.

Actor Bill Pullman, who played the role of a fictional US president in the movie Independence Day, allegedly laughed at the Philippine VP for copying the speech he made during the movie. This is according to the May 8 story on the blog philippineinsidernews.blogspot.com.

The story was also picked up by other blogs, such as balita1.altervista.org, weblogph.tk, and realspotnews.info and shared by Facebook pages, such as Philippine News Courier, Trending News Today, and Like for Donations, among others.

Based on these stories online, Pullman was said to have reacted to a meme made by blogger RJ Nieto, a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy, comparing Pullman’s character’s speech and Robredo’s speech. The actor was shown to have tweeted his reaction to TP’s meme, saying “Creative and very well done. Gave me a good laught this morning.” It was also time-stamped “20m,” marking that the screenshot was made 20 minutes after the tweet went live.

While the time-stamp made it seem like Pullman’s alleged tweet was made recently, it actually wasn’t. The text in Pullman’s tweet that was used in the story above was real, but he posted that tweet in reaction to a completely different thing, not Robredo’s speech. He tweeted that on February 22, 2018 when he reacted to a YouTube video “Lone Starr A Spaceballs TEASER. – Han Solo a Star Wars Story Style.”

But the misleading story did not end there! It even had a Part Two bearing the title “Robredo Won’t Apologize for Copying Bill Pullman Speech at Independence Day Movie” published on May 9 by the same blog, philippineinsidernews.blogspot.com.

In this story, statements were attributed to Robredo’s spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez, who allegedly reacted to Pullman’s reaction to Robredo’s speech.

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“The OVP [Office of the Vice President] categorically deny allegations that VP Leni Robredo copied her recent speech from the movie Independence Day. The message might be the same, but the difference in words is very obvious. The vice president also spoke from her heart, and there was no prepared speech for her.”

“The vice president believes that the accusation is only a strategy of her critics to divert the public’s attention from the real issue. It is very clear that the present administration is doing everything to silent its critics, and is using the Constitution in the wrong way. Therefore, the vice president needs to fight against the dictatorship.”

But in Rappler’s fact-checking report, Hernandez denied making the statements above.

“Those statements did not come from me. Definitely fake news,” she said in a text message to Rappler.

While there are similarities in Robredo’s speech and Pullman’s speech while playing his character in the movie, Pullman did not make a reaction over this. His February 2018 tweet was edited to mislead people. Robredo, unlike the claims of the second part of the story, also did not react to this fake news involving Pullman.

This is not the first fake story that the Facebook page Philippine News Courier has helped spread on social media. The said page also shared the fake stories about the late Playboy founder Hugh Heffner donating $5 million to Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, the Supreme Court ordering Kris Aquino to return Imelda Marcos’ diamond necklace, former Senator Bongbong Marcos leading over Robredo by 1,786 votes in the first week of the VP vote recount, and more. The page is also associated to the fake news site philnewscourier.blogspot.com.

Sources: ( www.rappler.comtwitter.com )

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